Teh Internetz: How it affected election coverage.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 @ 3:53 pm | The Internets

Arianna Huffington notes how the increasing dominance of the internet over our electoral dialogue affects the dirty damned lies of the right:

Back in the Dark Ages of 2004, when YouTube (and HuffPost, for that matter) didn’t exist, a campaign could tell a brazen lie, and the media might call them on it. But if they kept repeating the lie again and again and again, the media would eventually let it go (see the Swiftboating of John Kerry). Traditional media like moving on to the next shiny thing. But bloggers love revisiting a story. So when Palin kept repeating her bridge to nowhere lie, bloggers kept calling her on it. Andrew Sullivan, for one, has made a cottage industry of calling Palin on her lies. And eventually, the truth filtered up and cost McCain credibility with his true base: journalists.

The Internet may make it easier to disseminate character smears, but it also makes it much less likely that these smears will stick.

As a result, the McCain campaign’s insinuation-laden “Who is Barack Obama?” was rendered more comical than spooky. Who is Barack Obama? The guy we’ve been watching over and over and over during the last two years. We’ve seen him. We know him. And we can remind ourselves about him with a quick Google search and a mouse click.

Obama “has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day,” and “over the past two years, Obama has clearly worn well with voters.” Those are the words of David Brooks, who has gotten to know Obama just like the rest of us.

Four years ago, McCain’s Rovian race-based appeals to our darker demons might have worked. This year, they are blowing up in McCain’s face. And in the face of the entire GOP.

The truth will out! The Hannity/Limbaugh right desperately hoped they could win “if only people knew about AYERSACORNREZKOWRIGHT!” but people did know, and they deemed it insufficient. Rightwingers loved those things because they thought they could make them work in their favor as Republicans. But Republican victory isn’t really on America’s priority list right now, it’s solving problems and fixing the country. Those things had nothing to do with that. Even worse, they were flimsy charges lacking substance, having little to do with who Barack Obama really was. The right, still in their own bubble, has rightfully earned their defeat. May justice be served on Nov. 4th.

-jb

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